Value of Nothing

Critical approaches to photography have one thing in common: they share an understanding that photographs must be approached visually. They take it as a given that photographs are pictures to be looked at, and they all agree that it is only through looking that photographs communicate. Whatever subsequent interpretations follow, the priority of vision in relation to the image remains unperturbed. This belief in the visibility of the photograph imperceptibly bonded together otherwise dissimilar and sometimes contradictory methodologies, preventing them from noticing that which is the most unexplained about photography: the precedence of looking itself. This self-evident truth of visibility blocks the possibility of inquiring after everything that is non-visual in a picture. However, the digital image forces a reevaluation of visibility because it clear that the visible cannot account for images that begin their life as binary data, developed algorithmically and driven to various points across the network not as individual pictures but as packets of data. Through a reading of Heidegger, Deleuze and Benjamin this paper suggests that digital-born photography cannot be explained away in representational terms; rather it calls for a theory that can account for proliferation and self-replication as the purveyors of meaning online.
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The Image of, or in, Sublation.Ignaz Cassar - 2010 - Philosophy of Photography 1 (2):201-215.

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